Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this morning and found himself at the wrong end of a charge from host Jake Tapper. As reported by The Hill, Manafort made some of his own charges against CNN regarding their coverage of Donald Trump and his comments on the second amendment compared to their coverage of other news stories this week. The host refuted his charges. His refutation included his statement that “These things, just because you say them, are not true.”
Jake Tapper began his interview with this,
“So Republicans in Washington and throughout the country… are starting to get very worried that Mr. Trump doesn’t have the discipline to stay on message and win the election. You see the polling showing him behind in battleground states. I know he did an economic speech Monday, and he’s going to do a speech on terrorism tomorrow, but in between, of course, he does seem to go off message… What do you say to Republicans when they call you up and say, ‘Please get Mr. Trump to focus’?”
As reported by Fox News, Manafort’s response included affirmation of Donald Trump’s tweet in which he contended that the dishonest coverage of his campaign by the press is the reason he isn’t beating Clinton in the polls.
If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2016
Manafort charged that CNN failed to adequately cover Donald Trump’s substantive week because they spent so much time covering Trump’s misunderstood statement about “the second amendment people.” One example of an item that he believed was not adequately covered was the economic plans presented by both candidates this week. The CNN host suggested that Trump’s economic message on Monday got sidetracked this week because of his second amendment statement later that same day. He played the video of Donald Trump saying that no one in that room took it as a threat and then claiming that even reporters had told him it was clearly not a threat.
He followed up with a statement that,
“… it wasn’t just reporters. It was Republicans. It was people in Washington, D.C. who want Mr. Trump to win. And if you look at the speech, when he made those remarks, the man with the white beard who was sitting right behind Mr. Trump at that event, CNN tracked him down.”
CNN’s interview with him was shown, in which he stated that he had taken Donald Trump’s statement as a threat and that he “was taken aghast.” He then expressed that he believed Trump should be advised to be careful not to say things like that because that kind of statement can be misunderstood.
Donald Trump’s campaign chair restated that the statement by his candidate about the second amendment was never intended as a threat and then asserted again that CNN had “taken the Clinton narrative.” He proceeded to mention several stories that CNN had not covered this week because they spent so much time covering Donald Trump’s second amendment statement.
Tapper called Manafort out on some of the news he charged they did not cover.
“As a factual matter, on Monday, my show covered Mr. Trump’s speech. OK? We did. We covered Mr. Trump’s speech. And we did cover those Hillary Clinton emails. So these things, just because you say them, they’re not true. I mean we have been covering things of substance. We’ve covered things that are bad for Hillary.”
He asked if Donald Trump takes any responsibility for being off message. Manafort said, in part:
“If you want to look at threats, you ought to go back to 2008 when Hillary Clinton was running against Obama, and in May of that year, when she was clearly the loser and was asked ‘Why are you still in the race?’ she said, ‘Well remember, Bobby Kennedy was assasinated in 1968.’ I mean, that’s a much more direct reference and laid at the feet of Hillary Clinton.”
Tapper informed Donald Trump’s campaign chairman that he covered that story in 2008 and that Hillary Clinton had responded with an apology.
“She said, ‘I’m sorry my comments were… construed that way. That’s not how I meant it.”
Check out the full interview below.
[Photo via CNN]